Honda Atlas the smallest among the Big 3 Japanese players dominating the automobile market in Pakistan for over three decades is going through a terribly rough patch due to the ongoing economic crisis the country is going through.
Honda, like every other assembler in Pakistan that has failed to achieve meaningful localization, is bearing the brunt of the import restrictions. The company had to observe plant shutdowns for two straight months due to a lack of CKD parts in hand. It also suffered from a 90% decline in profits, the worst performance since the company’s inception in the early 1990s.
But even in such dire circumstances, Honda keeps setting records. The latest feat comes in the form of a hat trick for the company’s locally assembled flagship Honda Civic sedan in Pakistan which once again saw zero units being sold in the month of May 2023. Not a single unit of Civic has been sold in the country for the last 3 consecutive months, which is a unique record for itself.
Not only this, but Honda’s sales performance in May 2023 also set a record. The automaker managed to sell only 87 units in May which is the lowest-ever figure for the brand ever since it started its operations in Pakistan. A breakdown of these numbers reveals 56 units of 6th-gen City, 26 units of 1st-gen BR-V, and just 5 units of new 3rd-gen HR-V.
Honda’s poor performance in Pakistan in recent times is a result of poor planning, zero innovation, and a lack of market & consumer understanding. Despite a strong demand for smaller & fuel-efficient cars, the company kept dragging obsolete models with fuel-guzzling old-tech engines instead of introducing modern fuel-efficient small cars such as the Brio hatchback which does wonderfully well in ASEAN markets.
So far its flagship Civic model which now costs over Rs 1 crore has been able to find just 559 buyers since the beginning of this year. The new HR-V also has just 1,226 units under its belt during the corresponding period averaging just 245 units a month.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com